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Can J Anaesth. 2005 Jun-Jul;52(6):600-6.

The treatment of chronic pain in Québec: a study of hospital-based services offered within anesthesia departments.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Little or no information exists on the services that are currently available for the treatment of chronic pain across the different regions of Canada. As a first step, this study documented the hospital-based resources and services offered for the management of chronic non-cancer pain within anesthesia departments in Québec.

METHODS:

In collaboration with the Association of Anesthesiologists of Québec and the Société québécoise de la douleur, a provincial survey was conducted to assess the availability of services for chronic pain management within hospital-based anesthesia departments along with the volume of clinical activities, staff composition, treatments offered and space facilities.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 100%. Fifty of the 69 departments (73%) offered services for the management of chronic non-cancer pain but the services were often limited. Twenty-six percent (13/50) of the departments provided some form of multidisciplinary assessment and treatment but only three had a core team comprised of an anesthesiologist, a nurse, a psychologist, and a physical therapist. Examination of patient waiting lists of the surveyed departments revealed disturbing results: approximately 4,500 patients were waiting for their first appointment to see a pain consultant, and nearly 3,000 (67%) had been waiting for nine months or more.

CONCLUSION:

Although this survey did not include the services offered in departments other than anesthesia, the results show the extent to which the province of Québec is under-resourced for the management of chronic pain patients both in terms of access to treatment and quality of the services offered.

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PMID:
15983145
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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